I would like to give some background on Oman before moving forward. Oman is a hilly land no doubt. It isnt exactly a desert as is thought of across the world. Yes, it is hot and humid. But having lived in this country for the past 22 yrs, I can safely say that it is the most beautiful place in terms of natural beauty in the GCC or for that matter the entire Middle East region with man made greenery and beautiful landscaped mountains, rocks and gorges. Recently even the Sultan has given an order to plant thousands of palm trees.
The weather here differs in different places. Up north in Muscat, Sohar, Nizwa (other cities in Oman) the climate is hot and humid in summers while cool in winters. While down south in Salalah, it is affected by the monsoon in the months from June to September. So its really interesting to see different kinds of vegetation across the length and breadth of this country. When it does rain here (which was uncommon in the past), the wadis overflow onto the roads and there are great chances of accidents. The water flow in the wadis sometimes gets very fast and dangerous. But even these occurences were rare in the past.
But over the past couple of years, things are changing thick and fast. Cyclone Gonu which tore through Muscat in 2007 killing hundreds in its path was the strongest cyclone packing winds of over 150 kmph in the Arabian Sea in over sixty years. It led to a damage of approximately 4 bn US$. At that time it was called a once in a 50 years event. But 3 yrs down the line, as Cyclone Phet approaches the shores of Muscat, can we still call it a once in a lifetime event?
Cyclone Phet was initially a category 5 storm packing winds of upto 250 kmph. But as it entered Oman through Sur and Masirah it dropped to Category 3 (180kmph) and then Category 1 (110kmph). Whether it still causes widespread damage or not is still to be seen. But the biggest question is whats going on around the shores of Oman to create 2 cyclones in 3 years?
The simple answer is GLOBAL WARMING! I know a lot of people would surely think that nowadays scientists do think this is an answer for every problem but seriously speaking in this case, this is a possibility. This year the Asian subcontinent is facing a severe heatwave which resulted in increasing the sea temperature by 2 degree celsius. This resulted in a high temperature difference between the Earth’s surface and the tropopause.
As someone gave an answer on answers.yahoo.com –
A storm is powered by a layer of warm air underneath a layer of cold air. The cold air is denser, so it wants to sink, while the warm air wants to rise. This manifests itself as a vortex, with warm air rising up the center, and cold air sinking on the outer parts of the vortex.
Like any other heat engine, the power output is increased when the temperature difference is increased.
This is what must have happened with Cyclone Phet. I am sure a lot people would disagree saying this is a conspiracy theory and all that. But this is true and its happening.
Oman needs to prepare adequate infrastructure to protect itself in the coming years from such events. It is fast becoming an example of global warming caused due to the fault of other nations. (For your information Oman is one of the most cleanest countries in terms of environmental damage per capita in the world). In the next couple of years we can see more events of cyclones and storms occuring in the Arabian Sea.
That’s when the Omanis wont call it an unusual weather event, but a more than usual one!